Eminence Business Media

Eminence Business Media

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Open House at new Toray plate manufacturing site: European region is an important driver for growth in waterless printing

Toray Industries Inc., a leading manufacturer of waterless offset plate technology, invited customers from the European newspaper industry and representatives of the trade press to jointly celebrate its Open House event on 24 September at the new state-of-the-art plant in Prost?jov (Czech Republic): “We firmly believe in the future of waterless printing and the future of print.”

“We built this new facility in order to meet the growing global demand for waterless printing plates and to better serve Europe, the Middle East and the Americas,” explained Takayuki Kamei, director of the graphics division at Toray Textiles Central Europe (TTCE), to his visitors. Waterless printing plates are part of what Toray considers its ‘Strategically Expanding Businesses’ that drive revenue and profit growth. Indeed, since 2005, sales and turnover for the printing plates have increased fivefold and the Toray market share is growing year over year.

Driver for growth
The European region is an important driver for the growth of Toray’s waterless printing plates business. Especially the successful introduction of the waterless Cortina web press by KBA in 2004 – which now has 19 installations with a total of 85 print towers across Europe and the Middle East – boosted sales of the Toray plates, as no other manufacturer provides waterless printing plates for this segment. 

Toray choose its existing TTCE-site at Prost?jov - in the heart of Europe - for a 6,000 sqm new building to facilitate its new plate manufacturing location. The 140 meters long production line now produces waterless printing plates – from the aluminium coils, through washing, coating and laminating, up to cutting the finished products - that exactly match the high quality standards from the manufacturing plant in Japan.

Stability and reliability
Visitors to the Open House were given the unique opportunity to tour the facilities and take a close look at the highly automated production process, and also at the final manual inspection taking place to ensure quality. According to Mitsunori Hayashi, general manager for sales in the graphic materials department at TTCE, it is exactly this highly complicated production process that sets Toray apart from any competition: “Stability and reliability in production are the most difficult parts of what we do here.”

More than 50 per cent of all plates produced at the TTCE-site are tailored for the Cortina-presses installed in Europe and Dubai. Waterless printing offers these printers many advantages: it is an environmentally friendly printing process that delivers higher quality and reduces waste. Also, it increases the productivity of newspaper and semi-commercial printing operations, as Mitsunori Hayashi explained: “Printers that only print newspapers will face a difficult future, as that market continues to decline in Europe. However, the KBA Cortina and Toray plates offer printers the opportunity to produce semi-commercial jobs as well. This allows them to utilize their presses much better, by printing newspapers at night and producing high quality brochures, supplements or magazines on improved paper stock during the day. In that way, they can expand their portfolio and their customer base.”

‘Reinvent print’ at WAN-IFRA Expo
“Newspapers need to change their game. They should stop chasing the news and instead become the new ‘weekly’, on a daily basis.” Toray treated its visitors to the Open House on an inspiring and thought-provoking presentation by Samir Husni from the USA, also widely known as ‘Mr. Magazine’. He urges publishers and printers to make print ‘necessary and relevant’ again: “We have to reinvent print”. And that, Mitsunori Hayashi says, is exactly what Toray is supporting printers to do: “If the good attendance at our September Open House for the new facility is any indication, we can expect to see even more interest at the WAN-IFRA World Publishing Expo 2014.”

“We encourage show attendees to stop by our booth (Stand 11.565),” Hayashi concludes. “Customer stories, advice from our experts and our showcase of a variety of product possibilities waterless offset printing affords adopters of the technology, will help visitors gain the facts they need when considering making a waterless printing decision. We expect it to be a busy and exciting show.”

For more information on the Expo and Toray’s participation, please click www.toray-intl.com and www.waterless-print.com/en/